NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals select Robert Nkemdiche with 29th overall pick

The newest Arizona Cardinal is Robert Nkemdiche, who was selected with the 29th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Arizona Cardinals had plenty of talented defensive linemen to choose from in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the man they settled on is Robert Nkemdiche out of Ole Miss.

The Cardinals made Nkemdiche the 29th overall pick in the 2016 draft, despite questions surrounding Nkemdiche's off the field issues.

Nkemdiche joins the team at a critical juncture as veteran defensive linemen Frostee Rucker and Calais Campbell both have contracts set to expire at the end of this season.

The Ole Miss product registered 16.0 sacks in his three-year college career, including 7.0 in 2015. Despite facing constant double teams, Nkemdiche was still able to rack up respectable pass-rushing numbers and should be able to help the Cardinals immediately.

Arizona finished 20th in the NFL in sacks last season, and the team's leader in that category, Dwight Freeney, is considering retirement.

Nkemdiche is widely regarded as one of the most talented players in the draft, but the 6-foot-3 defensive lineman has faced a number of off the field issues that have raised concerns about his character.

In December, Nkemdiche fell out of a hotel window and was charged with a misdemeanor possession of marijuana and was suspended for the Sugar Bowl. At that point, Nkemdiche declared for the NFL Draft and attempted to put his past behind him. 

Nkemdiche has long been considered an outstanding talent, as Scout regarded him as the No. 1 overall recruit for the Class of 2013 out of high school. Nkemdiche committed to Clemson early in his recruiting process, but backed off and ultimately ended up signing with Ole Miss. 

Now, Nkemdiche will look to turn his raw talent and impressive athleticism into production on a Cardinals defense that will value his versatility along the defensive front.


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